The Task of Writing a Satire Essay: Tips and Tricks for Every Student

October 13, 2019

A satire essay is a specific type of essay which uses comic methods to attract the attention of the audience to some problem and criticize the flaws. Satire is one of the trends in the comic genre, and it has a very long and robust history with numerous excellent examples in literature, media, theater, cinema, and TV. The main goal of any satirical piece of text is to criticize, and the author uses comic means to keep the story catchy. It should not become just lecturing. 


It is one of the most difficult tasks in essay writing because it requires remarkable writing skills and mastering literacy means at a very high level. Besides, to write a good satire essay, you need to understand the social trends and their problems. Satire always deals with hot issues, and one might not even grasp the essence of satirical texts written several years ago, as their topics are not a “hot potato” anymore. 


However, a task to write a satire essay is not rare, and many students face it regularly. That’s why we have created this manual to help them to perform this job. Here you will find recommendations on how to prepare to write a satire essay, how to gather the information and explore the chosen topic, and how to write this essay to meet the standard criteria for this writing form. 


Prepare for writing a satire essay


When you face this task, it is more than ever necessary to understand the subject properly. If you have such a possibility, consult your teacher and clarify all dubious issues. 


Then consider the following points regarding your satire essay: 


  • Define if you want to dedicate your essay to one specific issue or a complex of events, some general trends in culture or politics. For example, you might reason the latest Oscar winner in some category or the tendency in general.
  •  Get familiar with the best samples of the satirical genre. It will be very useful if you never got such tasks before, so you can understand the genre itself, its principles and style. Refer to the classical samples and the most up-to-date works. One of the favorite subjects for the satirical exposing is world politics, thus, find and get acquainted with the most famous movies and TV shows dedicated to the theme.
  •  Choose your topic. As it is already mentioned, culture and politics belong to the traditional field of satirical “researches”. If you follow the latest trends, you are most likely aware of the hottest issues. Watch what the other people discuss and think of what you would like to talk about. You might think of the political events like Brexit or the statements from Donald Trump. Or, you might refer to the entertainment sphere and its celebs and stars. However, note that the genre of satirical exposing can be mean, and it can deal with really serious and painful subjects. It is not a reason for you to avoid them if you have genuine interest, knowledge and are ready to present your thoughts perfectly. However, your essay will evoke the audience’s reaction and can trigger them deeply.  
  •  Create the character to present your essay – in this genre it is not necessary to express yourself only. You can choose another person and present the satire on behalf of him or her. It will be an additional challenge because you will need to do more creative works. On another hand, it can make your task even more interesting if you are a creative person. Or, you can present your satire essay on your behalf.
  •  Know the goal for your satire essay. Consider what you choose this topic and what triggers you in it. Define if you support or oppose some ideas. Think of what effect you want to get, how you would like to impress your audience and which aspects you want to stress. 
  •  Understand how you can use comic means and irony. Your satire essay belongs to the comic genre, though it has lots of peculiarities. You should use humor, irony, and sarcasm in your text, and they have to be sharp enough.

Make a research on the topic


After you choose your topic and characters, you will need to run a research on the subject, as you would do for any other type of essay. We recommend that you get ideas from the media, but don’t borrow their fragments, arguments or famous phrases. These are well-known samples, and you might get accused of plagiarism. In any essay, you have to present personal thoughts and concepts.


There are several efficient methods that can help you to decide the plotline when you write a satire essay. Their goal is to help you to find some association that can contribute to creating a satirical effect. In case you are not an experienced writer with great skills in using the irony and sarcasm in your texts, you might benefit from using such helpful options.


There is a service that can assign the name of a famous person to some neutral sentence – and this combination will change the meaning. There are various “association games” or “bubble maps”. No matter which tool you choose, their goal is the same: to help you to see the unobvious patterns and present a different meaning. If you find your inspiration in such a combination, it is not necessary to put you into your essay as is. You can just use it as the basis and build your story on it with different means.


Satire essay structure


An essay is a form of writing with definite requirements to its structure and contents, and a satire essay is not exclusion here. It has to use the same structure with three obligatory parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.


The Introduction part


This is where you need to grasp the audience and set the tone for your essay. Here you are free to experiment with different literacy means to present your text more effectively. Besides, here you need to outline the topic you deal with and let know your listeners or readers what aspects you will expose. The most efficient ideas for the satire essay introduction are using jokes, citations which you can disprove at once by facts, or referring to some interesting statistics with shocking meaning.


The Body part


Here you need to present the thesis statement and arguments to support your ideas. 


Thesis is a short fragment, one or two sentences in most cases. However, they have to be strong and explain to your audience why you choose this topic and what ideas you will explore. You address your thesis to the audience directly, and here you can try different expressive means and forms. If you choose another character to present your essay on his or her behalf, you can make the thesis statement more creative – make them a kind of a public speech or a letter from one important person to another one. 


Arguments in favor of your statements have to be well-grounded. You will need thorough research to do yourself justice.


The main rule for finding good arguments is using only reliable sources. You might process lots of data to get the essence formulated in several sentences, but it will be worthwhile. For example, if you want to highlight the contrasts between the looks and the inner causes, you will need to understand those causes yourself.


Besides, you must use only the true facts. You would not like to expose some terrible habits of some person, but then it turns out that it was a kind of slander.


Refer to the freshest sources. There is nothing wrong with exposing the timeless flaws of people like hypocrisy, intolerance or prepossession if you can do it great. However, if you want to criticize some famous person like the President, it would hardly be suitable to do this when that person is not a President anymore. 


The Conclusion


Here you should follow the same rules as for any other essay type: sum up your thesis again, but paraphrase them. Stress again the importance of the topic if it refers to the relevant trends. Consider the best literacy means to make it strong. Having a winning conclusion is a very important factor for the success of your essay in general. 


If you used external sources of information, you need to include their list into the bibliography section with proper formatting. Consult the teacher regarding the formatting style you are supposed to use – APA, MLA, Chicago, or else. 


It is not a simple job to write a satire essay. A student should not only have knowledge and opinion on the topic, but it is also vital to have great writing skills and master the strong literacy means to build that story. You will need to employ metaphors, paradoxes, hyperbola, etc. Yes, it is not a piece of cake to write a good satire essay. However, it is an excellent tool for both educational goals and the development of a personality.

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